Doughboys guitarist Gar Francis' alter ego delivers a smoking debut.
"Slim" plays all instruments and is adept at everything, showing particular aptitude for blues drumming.
But... Mule is built in a wasp's nest of slide guitar, and Francis, who once took the Keith Richards role in a Rolling Stones tribute show, is razor sharp.
Speaking of the Stones, "Marlene" could be an out-take from Black And Blue. And the other elder whom Slim openly emulates is Chicago slide great Elmore James. He certainly took James as his role-model, vocally ("59 Minutes") and does a good job capturing the sweaty spirit of high-energy/low down blues.
Possessing genuine chops as singer, writer and guitarist, on "Dressing Drawer" and "Another Mule" he proves this album is more than just a day-tripper's lark.
Plainfield Slim is now working with a band - The Groundhawgs- which includes a couple of fellow Doughboys. It may have started as a send-up, but you have to be good at parody to make it work. Slim's better than good at it, and no matter how it started, it's too real to resist. - RA